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Mississippi Supreme Court rules against...

Mississippi Supreme Court rules against Jackson Mayor’s veto of “no” vote

By: Frank Corder - March 9, 2023

Mississippi Supreme Court

The case stems from the Jackson City Council’s rejection of a contract with the mayor’s preferred garbage collector.

The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled against Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba who had attempted to veto a “no” vote by the City Council related to the mayor’s want of a contract with his preferred garbage collector, Richard’s Disposal, which the council rejected.

The state Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling related to the mayor’s appeal, saying that the mayor may not veto an action or measure not undertaken by the City Council. The justices added that no statutory authority exists allowing the mayor to issue such a veto.

“The overwhelming weight of authority supports the special chancellor’s grant of the City Council’s motion for summary judgment because no genuine issue of material fact or law existed,” the Supreme Court ruled. “The mayor was not legally entitled to veto a non-action or negative vote of the city council.”

In July 2022, special appointed Judge Larry E. Roberts called the mayor’s lawsuit seeking to allow a veto of the city council’s “no” vote “non-sensical.” He said that “when a matter is not passed by the city council, it is a negative action to which the mayor does not have the power to veto. It’s an inaction; there’s nothing there to veto. The Council did not pass affirmatively a matter; it rejected it.”

READ MORE: Lumumba files appeal in Jackson Mayor vs. City Council dispute over garbage contract veto power

“In order for the mayor to have any power to veto an ordinance, the ordinance must be adopted by the council and then presented to the mayor pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. 21-8-17(2),” Judge Roberts wrote.

READ MORE: Judge releases written judgment on City lawsuit calling Mayor’s argument “nonsensical”

This case has been one many local mayors and city councils have watched as it would have likely impacted more than just the capital city.

You can read the full ruling from the Mississippi Supreme Court here.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: